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all posts related to blog and art shop announcements and news

Social Saturday | July 31

stack of books with a cup of tea on top

Here we are already at the end of July and beginning of August! The summer seems to be going past very quickly- how about for you?

This has been the Year of Reading for me- I’ve just finished book #33. I’ve been trying to spend my evenings reading, rather than browsing the internet. It’s been nice to get through quite a few of the books on my list, although of course, as soon as I cross one off, I find several more to add to the bottom!

vintage copy of Mistress Pat book

I requested Mistress Pat by L.M Montgomery from the library (review: not my favourite of her books, but still enjoyable) and the copy I received was this beautiful first edition from 1935! I love it when they keep older editions of books in circulation, rather than replacing them all with new copies.

mallard duckling

We had some exciting visitors to our place; my sister walked out the back door, and spotted two lost Mallard ducklings in the flower bed! When their mom never showed up, we brought them inside and put them in a brooder, and then my mom brought them to the wildlife rescue shelter a couple days later. They were so tiny and cute, and actually very quiet as well. (At least compared to the chick we’ve got inside; we named him Mortimer, because he never stops cheeping!) They were hard to photograph and got a little bit panicked when my sister picked them up, but I’m glad I got a couple of pictures to remember them by.

three tiny paintings of potted plants

I’ve been working on some more watercolour illustrations; this time houseplants. I’ve been trying out this mini format- just 4″ x 4″ and I quite like it. So far I’ve done a Kalanchoe, a grouping of Cacti and a Pothos.

I’ve added them to my Society 6 shop as greeting cards or mini prints. There are “hello”, “happy birthday” and “thank-you” cards as well as blank ones available. I will also be listing these original paintings in my shop here, but am waiting for some mats I ordered to arrive first (hopefully they arrive soon!).

card with pothos on front

Ps: I’ve also added some more photography prints to my shop, and am slowly adding more as I have the time.

How has your summer been going so far? I hope you have a great weekend!

two card designs with plants on the front

Some New Old Artwork

starry sky painting in a mat

Well, I vanished there for a little bit…but I have been busy while I’ve been gone! I rediscovered some of my watercolour pieces from a couple of years ago that I never completed or developed and decided that now was a good time to finish them up.

I’ve also been taking new product photos for my shop and have slowly been adding and updating the pieces in both my Poshmark and Artyologist Shops.

straw hat and mountains original paintings

These two originals are now available here or here. They come with an 8×10 white mat, so they are ready to pop into a frame. I think that the straw hat illustration would be perfect for a dressing room/area or a little girls’ room!

I’ve also got four new card designs in my Society 6 shop.

hello and many thanks cards

A simple “Hello” card for any occasion. And I liked the hearts from my Valentine collection, and thought that a thank-you card would be another nice option.

hat and sunglasses cards

The straw hat also makes a cute little “thinking of you” card. And finally these retro white sunglasses! I painted this for a “summer” prompt on Instagram a few years ago, and thought it would be a perfect “congratulations” card. I can see this one being good for a graduation or maybe even a wedding.

That’s all for today. I hope to be back with some more new posts, but we’ve had such a heat wave lately, and now smoke from the forest fires, so it makes taking photos rather difficult, unfortunately. I hope you have been enjoying your summer and that you have a great weekend!

Going Back to Something I Love

turquoise and mint ribbon flower headband with pearls

If you’ve been reading this blog for more than a minute, you’ll know how much I love hair accessories and hats! A good hair accessory can really top off your outfit, and I think it’s a shame that they are not as commonly worn today as they have been in the past. (Though I hope they might be making a slow comeback?)

A few years ago I made several hair accessories- headbands and clips- and tried selling them at the local markets and craft sales, but it didn’t catch on, so I ended up putting that hobby to the side. However, I do still quite like making ribbon flowers and bows and trying out new ideas for hair accessories and other millinery adventures… so I’ve decided to start making them again. I enjoy the process of crafting and stitching and I have so many ideas floating around in my head, so I decided that it was about time I brought some of those to fruition.

a polka dot bow headband and a pleated flower headband

I sold some of my older pieces last year on my Poshmark shop, so I decided this past week to make a few more pieces and list them over there. I haven’t added them to my shop here on the blog, because I am not sure about the shipping so, for right now, these are only available within Canada in my Poshmark shop. (However, if you are international, and are interested, please let me know as I would like to also look into the logistics of adding them to my shop here in the future.)

So that’s all for now, I hope, dear Reader, that you are having a lovely Saturday, however you are spending it!

organza flower headband

flower headband and shoeclips

The Artyologist Turns Five & I’ve Opened a Shop!

5 candles

Today is my blog’s 5th birthday! I can’t believe that it’s already been five years since the first time I pressed “publish”. (so scary!)

So to commemorate this occasion, I wanted to share some exciting news:

I have expanded my online shop and opened my own online storefront! This was a very long time coming (too long) and I am so excited to finally hit “publish” on that now too. You can find my new and improved shop page here or at the link in my sidebar or in the top menu.

the artyologist art shop

There are now three places you can shop. First, with The Artyologist shop, I have started small as I wanted to try it out and see how it goes (since it is my first foray into online selling on my own platform.) I have just a few products listed right now, including greeting cards, prints and a couple of original paintings. I plan to list some more items in the near future. I’m so excited to actually have started this shop, especially since that was one of my goals when I started this blog five years ago…it took a while, but we’re here now.

Since I have no idea what I’m doing, it might take me a while to get the hang of it, so please let me know if you run into any problems with it.

And to celebrate the Grand Opening, you can use the code ANNIVERSARY10 to receive 10% off. (I thought that 5% off was too small of a celebration!) The coupon will be valid for two weeks, until February 10, 2021.

The second new way to shop is through my Poshmark closet. While Poshmark is mostly a clothing app, since they have a flat rate shipping, this is an excellent way to get some of the bigger framed pieces and canvases shipped for only $12.99, instead of whatever Canada Post would charge – a lot I’m sure! Unfortunately this is only available within Canada. I’ve also got some other things listed there from my closet clear out, as well some handmade hair accessories and shoe clips, with plans to add more of those things in the future.

poshmark artyologist art shop

And finally, in my Society 6 shop you can find products such as greeting cards and phone accessories, as well as prints and canvases. Remember when I said I planned to add some of my Valentine’s card designs to my shop… three years ago? Well, I have added five of those card designs to the shop now, just in time for Valentine’s Day (just over 2 weeks away)! You can get them in cards, mini prints and some of them in stickers too, just for fun. I would like to create more stationery designs in the future, since I love sending people notes in the mail.

five new valentine card designs in the society 6 shop

Now, for a few blogging announcements…

Since quitting social media, I’ve realized that some of my favourite bloggers have stopped blogging in the past few years, and it’s sad not being able to see their new projects and outfits. Since I don’t want that to happen here, I thought that I had better start to put out some posts myself!

If you are a blogger, why don’t you leave your blog name in a comment? Or if you don’t blog, what is one of your favourites to follow? I’m sure we’d all love to find some more people to follow.

Speaking of followers, in the past I have used Bloglovin’ as a feed reader, but it seems like it’s fallen out of popularity lately. It has gotten so glitchy and overrun with bots and my last few posts haven’t shown up there for weeks, which is quite disappointing. Sometimes other peoples’ posts don’t show up for me either, so I’ve switched to Feedly, so I won’t miss anyone’s new posts. If you’re following me on Bloglovin’, and having been missing notifications for new posts, you can sign up for email notifications in the form in my sidebar.

Finally, one site I pretty much avoided, ever since it was created, is Pinterest. I don’t really know why, because it’s actually a great place to save inspiration photos, especially for sewing project ideas! I’m pretty new to the whole pinning thing, but I’ve created a few boards over there and hopefully I’ll get better over time, I’ve added a link to my page in the sidebar and my username there is theartyologist.

So, those are a few new things coming up… Thank-you to all of you reading this, it really means so much to me that you take time out of your day to see what I have to share. Without you Dear Readers, I really would be typing into the void, so thank-you again for the past five years, and here’s to the next five!

❤︎ Nicole

Thoughts on Quitting Social Media…But Not Blogging

phone with social media pictures on it

This has been a long time coming…I deleted my social media accounts.

I only ever had Instagram, so it’s not as though I had that much to delete, but over the past couple of years I’ve really started wondering whether I still wanted to be on social media…I kept taking longer and longer “breaks” and after a while I realized just how much of a burden it had become. I wasn’t excited to post like I was a few years ago, and I wasn’t even going on the app to see what others were up to. It took me a long time to finally decide that I wasn’t going to go back, and that it was time for me to delete the accounts. It seems silly to say this, but since I deleted them, a burden really has been lifted!

I know I’m not alone in this (several other bloggers have also recently talked about their relationship with social media) so I thought I would share my reasons, in case they could be of use to you.

  • There is such a thing as too much inspiration. I was getting so inundated with “inspiration” that I wasn’t actually doing much myself. Instead of being inspired by the creativity of others, I just looked at what they had to share and didn’t go and create anything myself. I had burnt out. As you all know, I wasn’t blogging here anymore. I had a hard time coming up with my own creative ideas to share… which is why I originally created this blog!
  • I started comparing my posts to others. This led into a trap of feeling like what I was posting wasn’t good enough to share. Especially for my art shop account, there was so much pressure to be constantly trying to “sell” my artwork. After much thought, I’ve come to realize that social media is like a stage. It’s not your “own space” because it’s on someone else’s platform, and every person on that platform/stage is doing their act all at the same time, competing against the algorithm to try and get some attention and be at the top of the popularity contest. Whereas a blog, to me at least, feels like an invitation into your own space. There may be some drawbacks to that, as not as many people may be able to find you as easily, but people come in to your blog to stay for a while instead of just scrolling down the app. I want to build this little blog back up again, without the constant pressure to outperform everyone else.
  • I was tired of having a “brand”, yet also feeling the pressure to be “authentic”. I realized that the more privacy you erode through sharing snippets of your life, you can end up oversharing. While people might feel that they know you, because of what you have shared and invited them into, in reality they don’t know the real you. We all curate what we show online (creating our own “brand”), but social media is especially good at blurring that line in order to create “authenticity” and I found that on Instagram it’s really easy to overshare; more-so than on my blog. The truth is that you’ll never really get to know someone fully via social media and while I do want to be open, I don’t have the personality for the “social” aspect of social media. I am an introvert and I don’t even socialize that much in real life! After a while I found that for me, it was actually quite draining to be so engaged all of the time- which is what is required of those who succeed on those platforms.
  • Sadly there was a lot negativity and general nastiness this year… and I wasn’t even on Twitter! For some reason, things started to get so negative, perhaps as a result of tensions in peoples’ real lives coming through to their online spaces? It’s definitely been a hard and stressful past year, but I saw so much negativity which really took away the fun, and I found myself avoiding using Instagram because of it.
  • I didn’t want to be a content creator anymore. I was creating so much content, and all for the benefit of Instagram! They were the ones getting paid for all of my work! All of the art I shared on my studio account for the past few years, only resulted in a couple of sales. And I never received a penny from Instagram as a result of directing people to their app, keeping them there, and racking up their ad revenue. I had never thought about it this way before until I watched this video in August (I don’t know anything about this lady; I just came across her video). She talks about how she became a better artist once she quit social media, because the pressure was off and she could pour her time into her work, rather than trying to curate an aesthetic feed or trying to sell her work to people who could watch her content for free, without ever having to actually buy any of it. She really hit the nail on the head with that one! Granted, some people have been able to create very successful businesses with the help of social media, and I have even discovered some talented artists through the app, but I don’t have the personality for it. While it may work for some, I realized that I was never going to be that person.
  • It was so addicting: the more you are on social media, the more you want to spend time there. After reading several articles about the tech industry, you begin to realize that it’s not all “in your head” and these apps are actively working against you and your brain! Once I broke that addiction, I didn’t crave to be back on it. I had essentially been gone from Instagram since July, but it took me a few months after that to officially write a “goodbye” post. At the time I thought that I might one day return, but the longer I was gone the less I wanted to. Even though I still was signed into my Instagram account on my computer, I never checked in to see other people’s posts. So instead I followed all of those people on their blogs or Youtube channels, if they had them, bookmarked their shops to keep in mind for potential future purchases, said goodbye, and then deleted my account.
  • Finally, Instagram (owned by Facebook) released their new data policies on December 20 and they are quite invasive. I was just really tired of having to sign away all of my privacy in order to use their app, especially since I wasn’t even using it any more! It’s not what I had signed up for originally, so their new policy was what gave me the kick in the pants to actually do what I had been thinking of for months.

Ultimately the real reason I quit was because it wasn’t fun anymore. While I enjoyed it when I signed up back in 2016 (originally so I could participate in Fashion Revolution), it’s changed a lot since then, and so have I. And ultimately, if something isn’t fun and you have no responsibilities to it…then why are you doing it? So, I made that final push and it seems to have been the right decision.

That’s not to say that there aren’t any drawbacks of quitting social media. I’ve discovered that a lot of my favourite bloggers are no longer blogging, and are focusing exclusively on Instagram, so I won’t be able to see any of their future posts. I’ve also put a lot of thought into how this might affect plans for an online shop. Social media can be a good tool for networking. While it is the right decision to make for now, because my art account was actually stopping me from creating, and wasn’t adding any benefits, this might be something I need to revisit in the future.

Despite these drawbacks, I have already seen several benefits. Because I am not filling my time with scrolling, I have found the time to craft and sew again! I’m also happy to return to this blog and am excited to write posts for the first time in a long time! I’ve spent the past few weeks thinking up ideas for some new posts, and even what I would like the future of the blog to look like.

One thing I did keep from my Instagram account, was my bio. I had spent quite a bit of time brainstorming a focus for my IG account, and have decided that I would like to incorporate it here too. Not much is really going to change, but I’ve settled on:

“sustainable fashion and lifestyle with a vintage sensibility”. 

I think that encompasses rather well the things I am interested in sharing and it’s kind of nice having a “mission statement” to keep me going in the right direction. Some of the topics I’ve been thinking about lately are creating a clear style vision, using minimalism as a tool for your wardrobe, zero waste lifestyle, sustainable fashion, crafts and sewing projects, more of my artwork and photography, vintage fashion, more “life lately” sorts of posts and, as always, outfits (at least when I have something to dress up for!)

So, if you have made it this far, thank-you for reading my ramblings! I hope that these topics sound interesting to you, and that you’ll stick around. Here’s to 2021 being a better blogging year than the last!

And a very Happy New Year everyone! I hope that your year is off to a great start!